Zydeco musician Ardoin recovering creativity after shooting

Zydeco musician Chris Ardoin says it has taken time to recover his creativity after being shot last summer

ByThe Associated Press
February 12, 2022, 12:06 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. -- Zydeco musician Chris Ardoin says it has taken time to recover his creativity after being shot last summer.

The 40-year-old Lake Charles native was hit July 30 when at least one unknown shooter opened fire at the Zydeco Bike Fest, an outdoor event in Colfax. He and his band had finished their set and were preparing to load equipment when the shots rang out. No arrests have been made in the case.

The bullet that hit him missed vital organs. He was able to perform again the following Labor Day in Houston. In March, he will play at his first fully outdoor festival since he was hurt. That will be at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.

Ardoin told The Advocate he had a hard time recovering his passion to create new music in the months since the shooting. He talked about the frustrating feelings he had in his home studio.

“All the stuff that I remember creating before the injury where I’d say, ‘Oh man, they’re going to love this song,’ I’m in the studio listening to it and I’m ready to delete it … It was depressing. You know why, but you don’t know why. This is second nature to me. I can usually come in here and come up with something on the spot. Why can’t I come in here and do anything?” Ardoin said.

But, he said he's had a breakthrough in the past month, with ideas pouring out of him in the studio.

Ardoin is a fourth generation Zydeco musician. He grew up playing alongside his grandfather, Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin; father, Lawrence Ardoin; brother, Sean Ardoin, and a slew of cousins and friends, carrying on the tradition begun by his grandfather’s cousin, Amédé Ardoin.

When he was 9, he shared the stage with his father at Carnegie Hall. He hopes his own sons — 10-year-old Collin and 7-year-old Carter — will be playing on stage with him some day.

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